Q: I know you encourage drying hair naturally. I'm not crazy about the 'wet look' and I don't have a lot of time for my hair to dry naturally so I use a diffuser like the one you promote. What's interesting is that if I don't use the diffuser, my hair is STRAIGHTER and very flat. It's never springy or curly enough when I dry naturally.  And I've been using the deep treatment twice a month as prescribed.  Do you have any suggestions?-- Kristi

Ouidad: Kristi, from your description of your hair being straight and flat when you let it dry naturally tells me that you hair isn’t that curly.  Doing the Deep Treatment every two weeks would definitely enhance your curls, but it can only enhance what’s there.  So, when you’re diffusing you are actually adding more curl with the aid of the diffuser and your hair is performing because it’s not dry and dehydrated.  Since you like the result of the diffuser better, use your diffuser on low heat and try not to over-dry your hair.

Q: I have curly hair -- it was a lot more curly before I had my daughter but it still has a good wave in some places and tight curls in others. I have noticed, though, that if I touch my hair the curl comes right out. I am having a hard time keeping it down and not in a ponytail because it becomes straight and thick. What can I do to stop this from happening without putting so much gel in there that  it's crunchy all day?--Kimberly

Ouidad: Kimberly, It’s very natural for a women’s hair to change after giving birth.  My hair also got a bit looser after giving birth.  Sometime the natural curl pattern comes back, but if it doesn’t, have your hair cut into a style by using both textures.  You can have some of it sliced to create a layered movement effect to compliment all textures, and with a little bit of gel, you should do well.

Q: Please help!! My hair is naturally curly, coarse and thick.  It is about midway down my back.  I cannot find a hairstylist that will cut layers in my hair to give it some shape.  So my hair is all one length which means it is weighed down on top and very full the further downward it goes.  All the hairstylists I have consulted with tell me the same thing, 'layers will make your hair curlier because the shorter your hair is the more tight the curl will be'.   I do not have a problem with my curls: it's the overall shape of my hair.  How could I explain to my hairdresser what cut my hair needs to give it overall shape and body and not just a bell shape?

Ouidad: I understand exactly what you mean, and I also understand the stylist fearing layers, because you hair will definitely get out of control.  So what I would recommend is to start slowly by slicing a bit around the face and a bit around the upper layer, and if you feel confident that your stylist is performing well, then ask for a bit of carving, which means to cut into the curl from the inside at the beginning of the curl pattern to allow the hair to sit into each other; that will get rid of your hair getting wider at the bottom. Slicing will give you the visual effect of layers with much more control and carving will puzzle your curls together to sit in each other and closer to the head.

Q: I'm a 15-year-old girl with hair a little past my shoulders; it's a mix of 2b and 3a curls, with graduated layering. I have trouble creating more volume at the top and keeping my style 'locked' with out getting the crunch factor. Plus, I wash/condition/dry/style my hair at night because I just don't have time in the morning. Help me before I return to my blow dryer and brush!!! -- Carly Marquis

Ouidad: Carly, you know you don’t want to go to the blow dryer & brush!!! When you are styling your hair at night while your hair is just been gelled, place duckbill clips (not flat on side) at the root of the hair all around the top and sides and crown of your head.  Then lightly spray your hair with a mild hairspray like the Styling Mist, and then diffuse.  That will create height for you.  Now to save your hair for the next day, even though it’s layered, try to gather all your hair gently into a loose ponytail and use a scrunchi to hold it while you’re sleeping to save your style.  Let me know how you do.

Q: If I don't use product on my hair my curls are huge and fuzzy. I have tried loads of serums but they don't seem to stop this. I end up using hair gel (lots of) then drying my curls. Then I finish off with strong-hold hairspray to keep the style set. I end up with nice curls, but it always looks wet and I can't touch my hair because the gel and spray goes flaky and looks like I have dandruff, thus I have to wash and re-style my hair every day. Can you think of any product I can use that would keep my curls separate, bouncy and not frizzy but not as hard and sticky. Thank you so much. --Emily, Carlisle, UK

Ouidad: Emily, what you are explaining is exactly the reason why I created my products. To set your curls, try the Climate Control, which is my styling lotion.  Then dry your hair.  When your hair is completely dry via naturally or diffusing, then use my Clear Control Pomade to help open and define your curls.  When your curls dry with the Climate Control, it will have crispy feeling, which is how your curls will sit.  Now by using a dime size of the pomade, rub your hands together and pull your hair back away from your face in a ponytail position, then hold one hand to hold the pony at the back of the head and use your other hand to run over the rest of your ponytail to loosen and define your curls.  You hair should feel soft; look shiny and bouncy, not stiff.  All my products are water soluble.

Q: I have naturally curly hair with some reddish tint to it.  I'd really like to bring that out with some red streaks and maybe add some blonder streaks as well.  However, my stylist is afraid that the chemicals will make my hair less curly.  How can I safely color my hair without ruining the curl? --Lindsey

Ouidad: Lindsey, clients get their hair colored and softened at my salon all the time.  The key to their success is that they do the Deep Treatment every two weeks, which helps to reconnect your internal molecular layer of the hair so your hair won’t empty out.  And, it keeps its life in the hair which means you won’t lose your curls.  Make sure you do your treatment three days before color to prep the hair and get even color tonality. Then repeat the treatment 10 days after coloring to rebuild the molecular layer.  You can have both!